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Rusting fabric

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | Leave a comment

Not a lot of weaving progress to report this week yet, except that two samples that I took off the loom are curing in their respective mediums. The grey is sitting wet in-between an old rusted iron and iron plate (below), and the purple logwood is being over-printed with more logwood chips.  I’ll share the finished pieces next week.

For those of you who have never rusted fabric before, it is the simplest technique ever!  You simply wet your fabric and then wrap or press it with rusty objects.  Be sure to make sure there is ample contact with the rusted object, so if you’re randomly putting object in your fabric you can wrap it tight with yarn or elastics, or put a weight on top of it.  To quicken the process you can add a small amount of vinegar into the water bath which you wet your fabric in (1Tbs per liter).  You want your fabric to stay damp, so if there is risk that your fabric will dry in 24 hours wrap it in plastic wrap, or put it in an airtight plastic bag. It should take no more than 24 hours for the rust to transfer onto your fabric.  If you’re using a fine fabric like silk be sure to check your fabric after 12 hours and then repeatedly thereafter since rust can make the fabric decompose.  Once the rust has transferred you can wash it and hang it in full sunlight since it is very light and wash fast.

Janna Maria Vallee

rusting hand-woven wool

rusting hand-woven wool

back to basics

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | Leave a comment

weft faced plain grey


During this Mirrix journey I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of doing with a little one around.  Even though the reason I am drawn to weaving tapestry is because of it’s slow factor, having a toddler around has brought my slow cruising pace to almost a complete stop at times.  So I have had to plan accordingly.  That means re-thinking things like the William Morris project I want to do.  If I attempt it at all within my nine months blogging here I think I will have to simplify it to have less colors.   Lately this lack of time (which I realize is not exclusive to child rearing) reminds of my favorite thing to do – make samples!  So my next task will be doing just that.  My immediate plan is to make a series of 5X5 (ish) samples of plain weft faced pieces to dye and embellish after.  This first few will be woven using size D C-lon beading thread as warp on a 12 dent spring, and some fingering weight wools as weft.  So far I have a plain grey on the go (above) with an indigo to follow and then a sage yarn with a variegation of magenta (achieved with cochineal).  I plan on doing some natural dye printing on at least this first one and am really curious to see if the synthetic C-Lon warp affects the way the dye runs along the wool fabric.

It was funny, as I went to weave this plain fabric I felt my feet searching for pedals – muscle memory from years ago when I used floor looms.  I’ll definitely be saving up for a pedal since this Mirrix isn’t going anywhere any time soon ;)

I’ll be in Central Park on Tuesday giving a natural dye tour and demonstration.  Join me if you are in town!

Janna Maria Vallee

Double Shedding Device Ebook

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Weave-Along 14 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s here! The double shedding device ebook.

In this ebook you will learn:

  • How to add a second shedding device to your Mirrix Loom
  • Basket Weave
  • Tabby Weave
  • Twill Weave

Get it now! Click below.

Mini Mirrix: New Coils Now Here!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

mini mirrixUntil today, we only had the 14 dent warp coil/spring available for the Mini Mirrix.

This warp coil is perfect to use with 11/0 seed beads and, because the Mini is so thin, pieces with other size beads can usually be woven without a warp coil and will space themselves. Still, we often had requests for more coils for the Mini. People needle-weaving fiber, making the Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet and those who simply felt more comfortable with the spacing of a warp coil, all wanted the option of more coils.

We are finally bringing those Mini warp coils to you! The Mini Mirrix now has 14 (the one that comes with the loom), 16, 18 and 20 dent warp coils available for it. Note that you can purchase the 20 dent coil and warp every-other-dent to make a Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet or other similar piece with fiber and 8/0 beads.

You can purchase the new Mini warp coils here: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/store/warp-coils-mini/

Share your Studio Contest

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Contests, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Studio 1When anyone with artsy inclinations walks into Claudia’s (Mirrix’s esteemed President) studio, they get lost in a world of fiber and beady inspiration. From looms (most with half-made pieces) to finished pieces and curious equipment like electric skein winders, it’s a fun little sanctuary to explore.

I, on the other hand, live in a one-bedroom apartment. It is in a lovely neighborhood that is walking distance from restaurants, bars, theaters, shops and pretty much everything else anyone could possibly need. We joke that we never have to leave a 5-block radius.

What I give up is space. My office is a desk in the window-corner of our living room flanked by dog and cat beds and one shelf that holds my looms and everything else weaving-related (everything else is in a closet, we were blessed with some decent closet space). It isn’t a swoon-worthy studio/office by any means, but it works for now.

A customer suggested to me a few months ago that having people share pictures of their studio space of Mirrix owners would be fun and interesting. I agreed and added the idea to my ever-growing list of things we should do. Now I’m finally getting around to it and we’re making it into a contest!

The Contest:

share your studio contestSend us a picture or two or three of your studio space (and by that, we mean whatever your workspace might be. It could be a beautiful  dedicated studio space, but it might just be your coffee table). If you have a Mirrix (or 6), include it/them in the picture. Also include a blurb (fewer than 500 words) about your space. What do you like about it? How would your ideal studio differ? What’s unique about your space?

We will publish all valid entries in a series of blog posts and to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

We will choose the winner based on creativity of  the blurb and photo/s.

Email all entries to elena@mirrixlooms.com with the subject “Studio Space Contest”. Write your blurb directly in the email. Please make sure all pictures are smaller than 1000 x 1000 pixels and are larger than 250 x 250 pixels. Image files only. We will not accept images in documents or .pdf files.

All entries due by 11/21/2014.

The Prize:

Grand Prize: $50 Mirrix Looms gift certificate

gift certificate






The Fine Print:

Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms Stare Your Studio Contest Official Rules


1. Eligibility: Employees, officers and directors (and their immediate families) of Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms, their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, agencies are not eligible.

2. Open to U.S. residents over the age of 18.

3. Winner will be chosen by Mirrix’s own Claudia Chase & Elena Zuyok.

4. Entry Restrictions. Limit one (1) entry per person.

5. FORCE MAJEURE. If, for any reason, the contest (or any part thereof) is not capable of running as planned by reason of computer virus, bug, system malfunction, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, fire, flood, storm or other natural cataclysm, riot, strike, civil commotion, governmental regulation or any other causes beyond the control Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms which, in its sole opinion, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the contest (or any part thereof), Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest and select the prize winner in a manner which is fair, equitable and in accordance with these Official Rules.

6. By entering this contest, participants agree that all pinning has been done by them.

7. DISPUTE RESOLUTION/GOVERNING LAW. To the fullest extent permitted by law, by participating in the contest, you agree that: (a) any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to these Official Rules or this contest shall be filed exclusively in the federal or state courts of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and you hereby consent and submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of such courts for the purposes of litigating any such action; (b) any such action shall be resolved individually, NOT as part of a class action; (c) any claims/judgments/awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred (if any), but NOT attorneys’ fees. These Official Rules and this Sweepstakes shall be governed by the internal, substantive laws of the State of New Hampshire.

8. By entering this contest, you agree that we can use your images and words on our website, our blog and on social media.

The Mystery of the Missing Mini

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Contests | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

halloween candy bucketWant 15% off a Mirrix Loom? Solve this mystery…

We originally sent this little mystery game out as an email yesterday and limited the discount codes we gave out to 50, but we reached 50 much faster than we thought we would… so we’re not only extending that number to 200, we’re also posting it here so everyone can participate! 

This is an exciting day because Little Guy and Mini are going to a Halloween party. There will even be a haunted house there! Little Guy is going to dress up as an astronaut and Mini will be a kitty cat.

At around seven, Little Guy and Mini are dropped off at the party by the Zeus and Joni looms. They run inside and are excited to see tables full of candy. They fill their pumpkin buckets and spend some time bobbing for apples. What a fun party!

Soon Little Guy decides he wants to go into the haunted house. Mini is a little bit nervous. She’s never been to a haunted house before. “You’ll be fine!” assures Little Guy. They step into the haunted house and are greeted by a rigid heddle loom dressed as a skeleton. “This haunted house will make your wool stand on end!” he cackles. Now Mini is really scared!

They continue through the haunted house. Little Guy is having a great time. He loves being scared! As he exits the haunted house, he turns to Mini and… oh no… Where’s Mini?

She’s disappeared! Little Guy looks around and see a floor loom dressed as a doctor standing near the door. “Have you seen Mini?” Little Guy asks, panicked. “I saw her run out towards the craft room looking pretty scared,” the floor loom replies. Little Guy runs to the craft room. It’s full of free projects for all the guests to do. But where is Mini?

It sounds like Little Guy needs your help! Mini (dressed like a cat) can be found somewhere on the Mirrix website. The first 50 200 people to find her will get a code for 15% off ANY Mirrix Loom good through this Friday.

Can you find her? Visit our website to try! (Hint: a clue is in the last paragraph of the story.)

Happy Halloween!

Triangle Beads Meet Dog Collar

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Projects | Tagged | Leave a comment

photo 2

I have always been fascinated with triangle beads.  Taho used to make the ones with straight edges and Myuki made the ones with rounded edges.  Now Myuki makes a line with straight edges, my favorites.  I mean a triangle is not really a triangle unless in has straight lines!

I have a collection of them in all my favorite colors.  But since I am a non-hoarder (I like to use things up and get overwhelmed when it seems my studio is filling up with too much stuff) I like to find the offending hoards and break into them.  I found my box of triangles.  Then I tried to figure out what to do with them.

The answer was easy:  a dog collar for Sam with a lot of glitz.  I am sure he will love the silk tapestry dog collar (and upcoming weave-along:  I just have to finish the instructions) but there may days when he, for example, has to go to a party and just requires a little glitz.

I used a 12 dent coil, although technically there are 11 triangles per inch.  Eleven warps were required. I used C-Lon beading thread.  The piece was six and three-quarter inches when finished on the loom.  It’s still on the loom.

When it comes off the loom I will attach it to a 3/4 inch wide dog collar and sew it to ultra-suede that will be glued to the back of the collar.  I am sure Sam will be thrilled.

photo 2-1

Oh, I did add some size 8/0 beads just for fun.  They are about the same size as the triangles. Notice that my theme is simple.  I love complicated pieces as much as the next person, but I am also a fan of really, really simple.  If you use beautiful materials,  you can get away with some very basic techniques.  In this case: simple bead weaving.  I wove rows of one color.  You can mix it up however you like.  And yes, I will post the final project.  I may decide to embellish the sides with small seed beads but I need to see how it looks on the collar before I make that decision.

photo 1-1Other items you will find useful to weave this piece:  tulip beading needles, E-6000 glue, bead mats.

What are your favorite go to beads?


Around town

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Leave a comment

Since I don’t have much progress to report on the finishing of my circles tapestry or the beginnings of my next one I thought I’d share a little personal update about the things I have been up to here in New York.  The biggest news is that I saw some Sheila Hicks weavings by chance last weekend when I made a special trip to Purl Soho for a Brooklyn Tweed trunk show they had.  The wonderful staff there directed me around the corner to the Drawing Center where there is an incredible textile exhibit, Thread Lines.  I couldn’t get good photos of any of the Sheila Hicks pieces since the lighting isn’t great and they are all in frames, but they are mostly 5X7 sample size pieces, similar to the ones I shared in my previous post about her work.  It was such a treat to see them in person.  Below is the Lenore Tawney piece that was there, too.  When I walked into the museum to see these and so many other incredible pieces by textile art pioneers, like Louise Bourgeois, I couldn’t believe that I was just stumbling upon it!  It’s such a New York phenomenon; there are just too many things to see that I couldn’t possibly know or plan to do everything that interests me.  What a stroke of luck this was!

A Lenore Tawney weaving at Thread Lines, and exhibition at the Drawing Center NYC

A Lenore Tawney weaving at Thread Lines, an exhibition at the Drawing Center NYC

Tomorrow I’m beginning a series of skill-share installations in New York City, Jersey City and Vancouver Canada.  Tomorrow’s is called Why is a Rock? and introduces the series with a hands-on embroidery lesson to anyone who wants to join me at Tompkins Square park from noon to two.  I’ll share my favorite stitches: running stitch, french knots and seed stitch.   While I wait for passers by to join me I’ll just be embroidering away on my rock-stencil silk (below).  Recognize that rock shape?

natural indigo stenciled on silk

The following week I’m sharing natural dye printing with a natural dye tour in Central Park, and there is a tapestry weaving one coming up too, but the location is yet to be determined.  This week some friends and I went to Central Park to do a run-through of the tour and it was very fruitful.  We found loads of different varieties of oak hulls (all of which Sam wanted to put in his mouth – to no avail) and even some cherry tree bark.  If you’re in any of the cities I mentioned, keep posted on the Everlea blog for upcoming events like these.  And of course I’ll be posting here about any weaving related ones.

Janna Maria Vallee

searching for evidence of natural dye trees in Central Park West

searching for evidence of natural dye trees in Central Park West